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Mr. CRITZ. Mr. Speaker, intelligence gathering has always been a key component of keeping America strong and resilient through our history, and it is imperative in this post-9/11 era.
It is crucial that the intelligence community be provided the resources they need to combat threats from foreign powers and global terrorist organizations. This is why I'm offering this final amendment today, to help strengthen our defenses against physical and cybersecurity attacks.
Mr. Speaker, this is the final amendment to the bill. This amendment will not kill the bill or send it back to the committee. If it is adopted, the bill will immediately proceed to final passage as amended.
My amendment contains three components that will ensure we continue to provide the best security to our Nation.
First, it would instruct the head of each element of the intelligence community to take all steps and precautions to ensure that the intelligence and military capability of the United States is not improperly transferred or stolen by a foreign nation or a state sponsor of terrorism.
Mr. Speaker, we live in a time where information is readily available and transferable at the click of a mouse or the stroke of a keyboard. While the advantages of such readily available information have helped spur economic opportunities and growth, it has also opened the door for one of the many intelligence challenges we face as a Nation.
We already have in place a number of protocols that dictate how and under what circumstances our military can transfer technology, goods, and services to our allies across the globe, but it is imperative that we do everything we can to ensure this information doesn't end up in the hands of unfriendly foreign powers or state sponsors of terrorism.
Within the past few years, we have seen foreign nations attempt to steal our Nation's military technology and sensitive information through the use of joint ventures and other techniques. We must do everything that we can to ensure that our military and intelligence secrets remain our secrets. Many of those same capabilities reside in, are accessed through, or are enabled through cyberspace.
Reliable access to cyberspace is critical to U.S. national security, public safety, and economic well-being, but cyberthreats continue to grow in scope and severity daily. Tens of thousands of new malicious software programs originating from Iran or China are identified each day, threatening our security, our economy, and our citizens.
No longer do we need to just worry about foreign spies infiltrating our military and intelligence agencies. Our worry must now extend to the young man or woman sitting in their apartment 6,000 miles away utilizing a laptop to tap into our government mainframes.
Secondly, my amendment would direct the head of each element of the intelligence community to take those steps necessary to ensure that our Nation's intelligence and military capabilities, as well as sensitive economic, financial, and consumer information, remain protected from improper transfer, theft, or cybersecurity attack.
Finally, my amendment would ensure that we continue to promote American businesses and keep jobs--especially one of such crucial importance--in America.
As the number of threats to our Nation has grown and the required response has put a large demand on the intelligence community, we have increasingly relied on contractors to perform tasks to ensure the safety of our Nation. This amendment would instruct our intelligence community to always put American workers first and not outsource these jobs to foreign-owned companies.
Mr. Speaker, I have witnessed the detrimental effects that outsourcing has had. Numerous areas of our country have also seen the ugly effects of outsourcing, and we must put American workers and businesses first, especially in the critical sphere of intelligence.
Compounding the economic damage outsourcing has done to our country, the national security risk posed by allowing foreign companies to operate our intelligence capabilities would be catastrophic to the environment of our Nation.
Mr. Speaker, in the global environment in which we operate, we must keep America strong, keep America competitive, and keep America first.
Mr. Speaker, again, my amendment will be the final amendment to the bill. I have great respect for the chairman, Mr. Rogers, and the ranking member, Mr. Ruppersberger, for the bipartisan bill they put together. It is important to note that this amendment will not kill the bill or send it back to committee. If it is adopted, the bill will immediately proceed to final passage as amended. My amendment will ensure we have an even stronger American intelligence community.
I urge a ``yes'' vote on this final amendment, and I yield back the balance of my time.
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